PPC vs SEO in China Market


PPC vs. SEO in Chinese market. One of the most important consideration is the time frame. Getting results from PPC is almost instant while building SEO traffic takes time. Typically, it would take about 3 to 6 months to start seeing some benefits from SEO and 9-12 months of consistent efforts to build a stable organic ranking to show up high enough in SERPs. If you can’t wait that long, then PPC is probably a better choice.

In addition, since the feedback is fast and measurable, PPC is best at testing different keywords to see which one works better. Tweaking SEO keywords takes much longer feedback loop.

To assess which strategy would be more profitable, it also requires an understanding of LTV (life time value) of a customer. This figure can be compared with the cost of acquiring a customer with either SEO or PPC. As a general rule, SEO tends to be a better fit for high volume, low LTV cases.

Another disadvantage of SEO for Chinese market compared to PPC is its sensitivity to Baidu algorithms changes. When a change happens, an optimized site may lose ranking overnight, thus it makes SEO an expensive effort. Obviously, PPC doesn’t have this weakness since you are paying Baidu for getting visitors bypassing their ranking algorithms.

On the other hand, organic results are generally considered to be more trustworthy and therefore are more likely to be clicked than the ads. Since Chinese search engines now are required to implement more visual distinctions to display paid and organic results, visitors can easily tell paid ones from organic ones and tend to favor organic ones.

Considering the above points, SEO for Chinese market, as a long term strategy, seems to offer greater values in search marketing than PPC. There is an exception however, if your niche is dominated by long-established players or authority sites that have been building their reputation for years, it is almost unlikely for you to unseat them. Yet with the fuel of PPC you may still be able to outbid them.

If you choose SEO, here are some tips:

1. Still Prefer SEO on Baidu

There are many different search engines in China, but Baidu is the most famous one among them all. Therefore, companies must attempt to take their share on this website. Their referencing on China’s biggest search engine must be good enough to ensure more customers.

2. The Content Is Very Important

To have a good referencing in China’s search engines, you must be aware of the importance of content, especially the amount of content. New publications and updated information play a key-role in referencing. You also need to use many key words in order to get a better ranking.

3. Avoid Any Sensitive Topic

The golden rule is to never criticize the Chinese government. If it ever happens, you may receive a bad referencing or you may even be blacklisted.

4. The Homepage

The homepage must contain lots of information together with many backlinks. In general, the most popular websites offer sufficient information with a very furnished homepage. It is a common practice applied on Chinese web.

5. A Good Backlink Campaign

Backlinks are very popular on Chinese search engines. Adding links to some websites allows a random website to be nicely placed on search engines.

6. Site Hosting

The website must never be hosted on a shared server. This kind of server means that only one IP address can host many different websites of many different clients. If the IP is noticed for an illegal use, Chinese government can suspend it, which will block the website hosted on the same server.

7. Referencing Tags

Similarly as on Google, you must not ignore tags on Baidu. These referencing tags allow websites to integrate the first choices of search engines.

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